New Taxpayer Advocate takes the reins early

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Erin Collins will start her term as the National Taxpayer Advocate on March 30 — earlier than expected.

Collins is taking up her post earlier ahead of schedule due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I can’t imagine a more critical time to lead the Taxpayer Advocate Service,” she said. She replaces Nina Olson, who left the office last July.

Collins brings 20 years of experience as a managing director of KPMG’s Tax Controversy Services practice for the Western area. Before that, she was an attorney in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel for 15 years.

Collins has also provided pro bono services to taxpayers to resolve disputes with the IRS and has donated time to nonprofit boards focusing on underserved communities where English is typically not the primary language.

The advocate heads the Taxpayer Advocate Service and serves as a voice for taxpayers inside the IRS, as well as being a senior adviser to IRS leadership. The NTA also reports to Congress on areas of the tax law that impose significant burdens on taxpayers or the IRS, including recommending potential legislative changes.

“Collins is an excellent choice for this key position because she is familiar with tax issues from inside and outside the IRS,” said Commissioner Charles Rettig, who also thanked Bridget Roberts for her service as acting NTA on numerous issues related to COVID-19, including the new People First Initiative(https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-unveils-new-people-first-initiative-covid-19-effort-temporarily-adjusts-suspends-key-compliance-program).

Roberts will resume her permanent role as deputy NTA.

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